Coaching changes are never easy but when the incoming head coach has the ability to bring much of his staff from his last coaching stop, it makes a transition much smoother. This was the case for Craig Bohl when he left North Dakota State for Wyoming. He brought seven coaches with him from Fargo, North Dakota and had to only hire six assistants to his new staff, with two being retained from the previous Wyoming coaching staff in Pete Kaligis and Brent Vernon.
The new coaching staff already looks to be having success on the recruiting trail and the Wyoming faithful look forward to seeing these new coaches this Spring. Here is the new coaching staff as a whole and their coaching bios.
Head Coach: Craig Bohl
Craig Bohl was introduced by University of Wyoming Athletics Director Tom Burman as the new head football coach of the Wyoming Cowboys on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. Bohl has been the head coach at North Dakota State since 2003, and has built a national power at NDSU. His teams have won back-to-back-to-back National Championships at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level the past three seasons.
Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks: Brent Vigen
Brent Vigen brings 16 years of college-coaching experience with him to Wyoming and five years experience as an offensive coordinator. Vigen was the offensive coordinator for each of North Dakota State's three consecutive FCS National Championships in 2011, `12 and `13. In 2013, Vigen's offense at North Dakota State ranked No. 10 in the nation in scoring offense (38.7 points per game), No. 7 in rushing offense (257.3 yards per game) and No. 14 in total offense (457.5 yards per game).
Wide Receivers: Kenni Burns
Kenni Burns will coach the Cowboy wide receivers on Craig Bohl's new coaching staff at Wyoming. Burns has coached the wide receivers the past four seasons at North Dakota State. He will be entering his eighth year as a college coach in 2014. Prior to joining the NDSU coaching staff in 2010, he spent two seasons as the tight ends coach at Southern Illinois. In addition to being part of three National Championships and three Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) titles at NDSU, he was also part of two MVFC titles at Southern Illinois and two FCS playoff appearances with the Salukis.
Running Backs/Fullbacks: Mike Bath
Mike Bath was named interim head coach on Oct. 6, 2013 for Miami (OH), after starting the 2013 season as the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach for his alma mater. In addition to his role as interim head coach, Bath also served as offensive coordinator and continued to coach the quarterbacks. Bath will coach the running backs/fullbacks at Wyoming.
Tight Ends: Shane LaDage
Shane LaDage comes to Wyoming from Saint Joseph’s (IN) College where coached receivers and tight ends last season.
LaDage came to Saint Joseph's after two seasons with Southwest Minnesota State where he served as the tight ends coach. LaDage also served as the program's strength and conditioning coordinator.
A native of Parker, Colo., LaDage was a four-year letterwinner at tight end for Southwest Missouri State (2007-10).
Offensive Line: Scott Fuchs
Scott Fuchs brings a wealth of experience to the Cowboy coaching staff, with 17 years experience as a full-time college coach and three additional years as a graduate assistant. Fuchs has coached the North Dakota State offensive line the past five seasons, and has been an offensive line coach for 16 of his 17 years as a college coach. He was also an All-America offensive guard at NDSU in 1993.
Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers: Steve Stanard
Steve Stanard comes to Wyoming with 22 years of coaching experience at the college level and 18 years of experience as a defensive coordinator. His experience includes three seasons as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Tulane (2009-11), five years as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Colorado State (2003-07) under former head coach Sonny Lubick and three years as the defensive coordinator at New Mexico State.
Defensive Tackles: Pete Kaligis
Pete Kaligis will be the defensive tackles coach on Craig Bohl's staff at Wyoming. In 2013, he served as Co-Offensive Coordinator and Running Backs Coach for the Wyoming Cowboys. He added the offensive coordinator duties to his responsibilities in February of 2013. The 2013 season marked Kaligis' 19th season as a college coach. He is entering his sixth season at Wyoming in 2014. He coached the Cowboy running backs in 2012 and `13. In 2013, sophomore running back Shaun Wick nearly reached the 1,000-yard plateau, rushing for 979 yards. Kaligis' first four years at Wyoming, he coached the Cowboy offensive line.
Defensive Ends/Special Teams: AJ Cooper
AJ Cooper comes to Wyoming after serving as a member of North Dakota State's coaching staff the past eight seasons. His coaching career followed an outstanding playing career for the Bison. Cooper has been the defensive ends coach for NDSU the past five seasons and will continue that role at Wyoming along with coordinating special teams.
Cornerbacks: John Richardson
John Richardson takes over as cornerbacks coach for the Wyoming Cowboys in 2014. He was a defensive assistant at his alma mater, North Dakota State, in 2012 and 2013. He has been a member of the NDSU staff since 2009, spending the 2009 and `10 seasons as a student assistant before becoming a graduate assistant coach in 2011.
Safeties: David Brown
Brown comes to the Wyoming as the safeties coach, after spending last season at Fresno State as the secondary coach. He spent the last three seasons before as head coach at Missouri S&T in Rolla, Missouri. Brown led S&T to a 19-14 record, which included a 10-1 record in 2012 and a No. 24 national ranking to end the season. The 10 wins posted by the Miners in 2012 tied for the most in school history and it was the first time since 1980 S&T finished a season nationally ranked.
Strength & Conditioning Coach: Zach Duval
Coach Duval started with the University of Wyoming in January 2014 after serving as the Director of Sports Performance at Buffalo University for the past three years. Prior to his stint at Buffalo, Duval was the Director of Athletic Performance at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. Duval also spent over eight years in Nebraska's "Husker Power" strength and conditioning program. He was a graduate assistant from 1995-1997 and was the university's football strength coach from 1997-2002, during a time in which the Huskers captured national championships in 1995 and 1997.
Director of Recruiting: Gordie Haug
Gordie Haug will serve as the Director of Recruiting for the Wyoming Football program in 2014. He has been a member of Coach Craig Bohl's coaching staff each of the past two seasons, working with the offensive staff (running backs).
Director of Football Operations: Brent Vernon
Brent Vernon assumes the role of Director of Football Operations in 2013, after filling the roles of Executive Assistant to the Head Coach and Assistant Director of Football Operations in 2012. In 2011, Vernon served as Wyoming's Director of Recruiting, being promoted from his previous position as the Cowboys' offensive graduate assistant in 2009 and `10.